Ancient philosophers believed that growing flowers would certainly bring happiness to a person. Astra symbolizes wealth, and designers and gardeners love it for its unpretentiousness and beautiful flowering.
Description and Features
Chamomile aster belongs to the species of perennial herbaceous plants, the Astrov family. This plant has several more names: steppe, wild, European.
The habitat of the aster is quite wide: the Mediterranean, the Baltic states, Siberia, the Caucasus, Europe. In the Russian flora, the flower grows in the European part of the country, as well as in the south-west of Western Siberia. These beautiful flowers can be found in meadows, ravines, river valleys and on the fringes of mixed forests.
- height - from 20 to 70 cm;
- the root system is represented by a short rhizome;
- upright stalk, densely pubescent, with a reddish tinge;
- leaves are sessile, dull, whole-marginal, with well-identified veins;
- basket size - 3-5 cm, inflorescence - corymbose panicle;
- flowering period - from June to September.
This plant is most often grown in open flower beds and flower beds.
Due to the long flowering period and the variety of varieties, among which there are plants with pink, lavender, dark blue and lilac petals, asters have become one of the most popular flowers.
Asters use in:
- creating flower groups on the lawn;
- meadow plantings for the garden;
- simple flower beds that do not require complex care;
- flower beds for planting buildings and objects in cities, as well as in suburban areas as landscape components with imitation of wild thickets.
Variety of varieties
Among all varieties of asters , Rudolf Goethe, King Georg and Weilchenkenigen are especially popular.
These asters are unpretentious and cold-resistant plants, ideal for growing in risky farming areas. The stem grows to 50 cm tall.
The bush is compact, hemispherical in shape.
Branches are branched, with dense pubescence and sessile linear-lanceolate leaves. The variety is distinguished by rather large inflorescences - almost 5 cm in diameter.
In each inflorescence, there are 10-15 baskets. The flowers have a lavender-blue hue in the reed petals, and yellow in the tubular ones. The flowering period is from August to the onset of frost. On average, it is 60-65 days. Sowing of seeds is carried out immediately in the open ground in the spring, when the soil warms up to 8-10 degrees.
This aster is also called Italian. In the Mordovian Republic, the plant is listed in the Red Book, as it dies out due to human activities and environmental degradation. But the main reason is the uncontrolled collection of asters for bouquets in the woods and in the meadow.
Italian aster has flowers of bright purple color with a yellow center. Inflorescence is a simple basket. The height of the plant is about 50-60 cm. The bushes are compact, spherical in shape. Flowering begins in August and continues until mid-October.
The plant is photophilous, prefers dry, well-drained soils and moderate watering.
This variety is one of the most beloved among landscape designers. The main feature of King George is the high stems and large bright yellow middle. In addition, in comparison with Rudolf Goethe and Weilchenkenigen, this variety blooms earlier in July . Therefore, it is widely used to decorate flower beds, borders in cities. Its flowering continues until the first frost. Petals of the plant have a rich violet-blue color.
In the wild, asters live mainly in the forest-steppe zone, so they always get quite a lot of sunlight. With independent cultivation, you will have to take into account several nuances.
- Shine. The site should be open, with good access to sunlight for most of the day. Therefore, it is worth choosing open places, away from dense trees and shrubs. These plants feel good on tall flower beds.
- The soil. Asters prefer light, well-drained calcareous soils. The site on which the aster is grown should be well ventilated, have a loose structure. A good solution would be to add some gravel or vermiculite to the soil. This measure will increase soil drainage.
- Humidity. Due to the presence of rhizomes, asters do not need frequent and plentiful watering. Therefore, it is better to choose high areas where water will not stagnate.
Planting and reproduction
There are several ways to plant and propagate asters: by seeds, dividing the bush or cuttings. Consider how to do it right.
- The seeds. The collected seeds are sown in the soil to a depth of 1-2 cm. The next spring, young plants will emerge at this place. Flowering plants in this case occurs in the third year.
- By dividing the bush. This is a faster and easier way. The overgrown bushes are dug up, divided into several smaller ones and planted back. The whole procedure is carried out in the fall. One bush is divided into 2-3 parts, it is necessary that on one separated bush there are 4 shoots and powerful roots.
- Cuttings. Gardeners recommend propagation by cuttings in early spring. A well-developed plant is taken and cuttings 6 cm long are cut from it. They are rooted in a greenhouse or in an ordinary garden bed. New plants from cuttings are grown for 3-4 weeks, and then digged and transplanted to a permanent place.
Chamomile asters are unpretentious in content. They need periodic cultivation, weeding and watering.
- Transfer. This is a perennial plant, so you do not need to plant it every year. The site is changed only once every 5 years. In the sixth year, asters dig and transplant to a new site. If you want to achieve abundant flowering, then regularly cut off faded inflorescences, without waiting for the seeds to ripen.
- Watering mode. In dry and hot weather, plants need abundant watering. It is best to water the plants under the root, deeply soaking the soil, but not too often.
- Top dressing. Top dressing is carried out in early spring, using complex fertilizer for asters. But in order to achieve abundant flowering throughout the season, it is necessary to add 2 more after the first dressing. In this case, they are fed with nitrogen dressing for the first time to form lush foliage and develop a powerful root system. The second top dressing is done at the very beginning of the budding phase. This measure will give plants the opportunity to form a large number of strong and large buds. At the beginning of flowering, a third top dressing is done using phosphorus-potassium fertilizer. It will prolong the flowering of plants.
- Pruning. During the season, stems are cut to create bouquets. Also, with the help of pruning, you can form more accurate bushes and give them strict contours. After the end of the flowering period, all stems for the winter are cut to the root. A flower bed is mulched with leaves or sawdust. When snow falls, it is poured on the flower beds with a thick layer so that the buds overwinter well and do not freeze.
How to use chamomile aster to fight colds, see the video.